Study says Georgia is the '8th Worst State to Have a Baby'

'Georgia 8th Worst State to have a Baby' according to WalletHub. Claudia Coco / WGXA News

MACON, Ga -- WalletHub ranked Georgia the "8th Worst State to Have a Baby," because of several different reasons, but most importantly a high pre-maturity rate and a high infant mortality rate.

So when Sandra Gardner decided she wanted to have a baby she said she asked her doctor on how to prepare for a pregnancy. "So you know he told us about vitamins, folic acid, and even just knowing what to eat," said Gardner.

Georgia is 8th Worst Overall, but the state is even worse when it comes to infant mortality, with a rank of 47 (Scale: 1=BEST, 50=WORST). According to the CDC there are 7.8 infant deaths per 1,000 babies born in Georgia. The North Central Health District says there are 17.7 infant deaths per 1,000 in Bibb County Alone.

Gardner now has a healthy seven-year-old girl. Her advice to new mothers is to seek out as much information as you can. "Absolutely talk to your doctor. Talk to your friends, and see what they have done. The information is out there. Sometimes it's hard to find, but ask around and you'll find it," said Gardner.

Dr. Mitch Rodriguez is the Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Navicent Health. He said there are a few factors that doctor's want to tackle before you even become pregnant. "Taking care of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension. Make sure their diet and obesity is handled. Make sure there's no tobacco, alcohol use," said Dr. Rodriguez.

Dr. Rodriguez said once you have the baby it's important to follow certain steps. "The use of breastfeeding is essentially going to provide a better outcome in the neo-natal period, but also reduces that of SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome," Dr. Rodriguez said.

He said one of the best ways to avoid SIDS is to put the baby in a crib with nothing in it, lying on their back.

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